Archives for posts with tag: Gas

Falling gas prices have recently created a huge demand-side boost to our economy. Millions and millions of dollars worth of boost: serious money. The increase comes from families having a few hundred extra bucks a year to spend on things other than filling their tanks. That is the free market in action, folks: consumers consuming, and by so doing creating jobs where they spend that additional money.

Classic, common-sense, evidence-based economics. People making additional purchases with the money they are saving because of lower pump prices. Demand-side economic stimulus via the private sector. Somewhere in the Afterlife, Adam Smith is shouting “See? SEE, motherf***ers? Who’s the man? I toldjaso!”

And none, repeat NONE of those falling petrol prices had Thing One to do with tax breaks for millionaires. No, oil prices are falling because of supply and demand. Once again, class, all together: “supply AND demand”. But of course, “republicans” don’t care about anything but the supply side. Because that side has all the friggin’ millionaires and billionaires that can (and do) buy Teapubbie Senators and Congresscritters.

This blog has ofttimes posted about the complete and utter failure of supply-side “economics”, and the laughable Laffer Curve that it is based upon. (Click the links, Gentle Reader, lots of supporting data to be found if you folllow the breadcrumbs.)

Once again, all of the Post-Reaganista bulls*** has been exposed, in all of its fetid, malodorous splendor. The American economy used to grow, before these dark days, because sensible adults recognized that all sides and strata of the economy are interrelated, and that we needed to manage supply and demand, the rich and the poor, and everything in between. But because of the Voodoo Wing of the “Republican” Party (and by that we mean, “the entire f***ing GOP”) focusing ONLY on the supply side, we have naught but deficts, crumbling edifices, and corruption all around us.

The positive economic effects of falling prices for the consumer prove, once again, that the Teapublican party is, as usual, completely full of s***. Almost as full of it as the idiot voters who voted for them, or failed to vote against them. But hey, enjoy the cheap gasoline while it lasts; until the Teapubbies find yet another way to steal those extra dollars away from us, and hand it back to their supply-side patrons.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

From the racist , biased prosecutor and like-minded cops using armored vehicles and battlefield weapons intended to kill terrorists on civilians, to the heavy-handed tactics of the Nixon administration, police and politicos are just as malignantly clueless as they were the day an unarmed black kid was shot in the street by an out-of-control cop and his body was left to rot on the pavement for hours in the summer heat. And the stupidity was clearly visible in these remarks from the boss cop:

At a late news conference, as National Guardsmen watched from a distance, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that as of midnight, police had arrested about 30 people related to the protests and tallied hundreds of gunshots.

The magnitude of the protests caught the police off guard, he said.

“As dynamic as August was, can you imagine a night like this?” he asked. “We didn’t have anything of this magnitude, so it was very difficult, I think, to telegraph exactly what we should have expected. I didn’t foresee anything like this.” He added that police did everything they could to prevent the chaos.

Such stupid, bigoted, willfully pig-ignorant f***wits. They think they can go on with the apartheid-lite approach that Ferguson (and many other such towns) have taken for decades. Even though it hasn’t worked in this case, even though people are not at all happy, even though buildings are burning and innocent people are suffering, local officials are convinced that they can just beat down people of color and everything will go back to “normal”.

Rich, powerful white people have been trying this idiotic approach for centuries. And it always looks like it will work, for a while at least. But history shows us that oppressors will fail, no matter how many times they try.

Stupid f***s.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Just stop for a second and focus, OK? The man people call Crimea’s leader was NOT legitimately elected to be such. Unless you’re fool enough to believe in the validity of secret elections held with guns pointed at voters’ heads, and that a man who previously barely got into his previous office as leader of a fringe party with only a few paltry seats could somehow magically win power in his nonexistent “nation” when nobody was looking. In reality, Mr. Aksyonov is a criminal who is part of a Russian land grab that is reminiscent of Russia’s previous actions in Georgia, and Germany’s in Poland:

Crimea has been swept into turmoil over the past two weeks, as Moscow, furious over the fall of Yanukovych and the pro-Western outlook of the new government, used hundreds of Russian soldiers to seize political control of the peninsula. The Russian soldiers — who Moscow insists are members of a Crimean self-defense force that Aksyonov created last year — ringed the regional parliament. Then, with armed soldiers inside the chamber, Aksyonov was named prime minister.

His critics say it’s clear that Aksyonov is simply a puppet, someone installed by Moscow to ease what has become, in effect, a Russian takeover of its former territory.

“If six months ago someone would have told me that Aksyonov would become prime minister, I would have laughed,” said Valentina Tsamar, a prominent Simferopol journalist with the TV channel Chernomorskaya.

So, after Russia took over Crimea’s government at gunpoint, and said fake government called for a fake referendum on “joining” Russia, the “Prime Minister” is already taking steps that shouldn’t be taken until after the election results are known. The obvious conclusion, Gentle Reader, is that the results of the next “election” will be rigged, just as the recent parliamentary “election” was. The results are already known, because the referendum is a farce, a ruse, a smokescreen erected to scare the cowards, fool the foolish, and gull the gullible.

This is as illegal as Mexico storming the Texas Capitol, deposing the elected government and installing a posse of Narcos in its place, and then voting to secede from the United States and rejoin Mexico. After all, there are Mexican nationals in Texas who have to be protected from the American government, right? And there are cultural ties that go back centuries, yes? And such ties surely supersede any silly latter-day political boundaries, right?

Wrong. Just as in Ukraine. This is an illegal land grab, like countless others throughout history (including some by the United States, Britain, France, and so on). And like all those other invasions and occupations, it is illegal as Hell and completely illegitimate.

Those loons of the political extremes who shriek and shout at the West for alleged “imperialism” as it insists on Ukraine following a path based on international law; the jackass Conspiracy Theorists who ignore the facts on the ground and and use their own fantasies in lieu of those facts; said shouters are but useful idiots that are helping the real imperialists in this case. Said imperialists being, of course, Putin and his corrupt buddies.

Such bulls***. Wake up and smell it, peeps.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

When this writer was but a wee cranky lad, he was sometimes bullied. Fortunately, he was blessed with the ability to fight back. So after a while, the bullies went and found other, easier targets for their bullying. Does that mean that fighting back did no good? After all, the bullying didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

Most of us have seen a domestic incident happen in public. Usually, some good citizen will call the cops or otherwise intervene. Odds are, the domestic abuse continues in private after the intervention. Does that mean that the intervention did no good? After all, the abuse didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

In both of these cases, it’s a fair guess that you’d say “standing up for the victim of abuse is the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t completely fix everything”. This writer agrees. There are issues of morality in play here, not just inhuman calculations of efficacy. So why do so many of us appear willing to throw the Syrian people under the bus by ignoring the abuse that is being heaped upon them? 

Yes, Iraq was a cluster-f***. Sure was. That was (as your humble correspondent said and has been saying since before the Bushistas lied us into that quagmire) a stupid conflict that we never should have gotten into. But Syria is not Iraq. Nor is the fact that an intervention went South in the past a good reason to never intervene again everevereverevernomatterwhat.

On a short-term, purely practical level, there may be no clearly foreseeable benefit to intervention in Syria, and  there certainly are manifold risks to consider. That doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing. Just as with a wife being beaten or a child being abused, we intervene even though we do not know the outcome, because we know that right now, a basic human right is being violated. And we owe it to our fellow human beings to stand up for them when their rights are denied.

The fact that they are on the other side of the world instead of the other side of the street does  not take away our obligation to care for those who are being oppressed. You know what oppressors love? The same thing that bullies, wife-beaters and child molesters love: they love people who do nothing to stop them from committing crimes against humanity, because it enables them to continue committing those crimes.

Sometimes the media and politicos (and our fellow Americans) can get so wrapped up in realpolitik that we forget about basic human rights and decency. And make  no  mistake, there are lots of Americans saying “what is happening in Syria is none of our business”, or something of such. So take a moment and think: if you were being beaten, bullied, sexually abused, or gassed, what would you say? Answer: you’d say “HELP ME!” or words to that effect. As you should.

And what would you say to those who could have helped you but chose to turn away, leaving you to the tender mercies of your abuser? Answer: you’d say “F*** YOU, MOTHERF***ER”, or words to that effect. And those whose cowardice or indifference had sealed your fate would deserve those words, that shame, that stinging indictment of their manifest inhumanity.

This does not mean that military intervention is safe, or simple, or even desirable. Nor is military intervention the only route to take – there are some rumblings about a new diplomatic solution, thanks to John Kerry’s flapping yap. But no intervention, doing nothing at all, just because we are understandably weary of war and justly suspicious of our government? That is morally indefensible. (To be clear: thus far, we have done nothing. Nothing at the UN, nothing on the ground.)

People are being abused in Syria: 2 million Syrians are refugees, many living under tarps in the desert, as this post is being written. Hundreds have been gassed to death, and thousands more have been tortured and killed by the abusive Assad regime. If we vote to do nothing to help them, it is no different than turning away from the bullied person or abused child who needs our help right here at home.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

One of the lies that is being peddled of late is an alleged Obama “War on Coal”. This is repeated for natural gas and oil, as well. The idea is that massive over-regulation by our commienazisocialistkenyanmuslimchristianhawaiianohwhatthehellcallhimeverynameinthebookandseewhatsticks President is somehow dejobbing coal miners and well drillers, causing poverty, blight, and maybe even gum disease. There’s a little problem with this scenario, however: it is not true. Not even a little bit.

It is true that coal output is down, and mining jobs are being lost (in some parts of the country). But it has nothing to do with President Obama (or Bush, or any occupant of the Oval Office): it has to do with the free market. Here’s how it works:

Due to the lightly-regulated natural gas market, lots and lots of gas wells got drilled in the past few years. So many, in fact, that the price of natural gas is lower than a politician’s moral standards. So low that lots of power plants switched from coal to gas to save money and earn bigger profits. Less coal being burned means less coal needs mined, so fewer miners are needed. That is the free market at work, and the government had almost nothing to do with it.

Gas drilling jobs are down, because the lightly-regulated market had so many gas wells drilled of late that the market price of natural gas is so low, it isn’t profitable to drill more gas wells. That is the free market at work, and the government had almost nothing to do with it.

Oil drilling jobs are up, and the United States is closing in on Saudi Arabia for the title of biggest oil producing nation in the world; because the lightly-regulated markets have created a surplus of well-drillers who used to work in the natural gas fields, along with new technologies and more available land on which to drill. Plus the price of oil is high, so it is profitable to drill. That is the free market at work, and the government had almost nothing to do with it.

In other words, the Republican ideal of a free market is responsible for the current energy market and the jobs associated therewith. The government (especially the President) cannot be blamed for the jobs that are lost, nor given credit for the jobs that are gained.

So if you’re spreading these lies about an “Obama war on fossil fuels”, STFU. If you’ve been believing the lies about an “Obama war on fossil fuels”, stop.  It’s a bunch of bulls***, like most things we hear from politicians and lobbyists.

Mr. B & C